Gary woman resentenced to 41 years in 2 kids’ fire deaths

A Gary woman whose 51-year sentence was thrown out in an apartment fire that killed two of her children after she left them and a sibling home alone has been resentenced to 41 years in prison.

A Lake County judge sentenced Kristen Gober, 37, on Monday in the 2018 fire that killed Kailani Gober, 2, and her brother, Khristopher Gober, 4. A 6-year-old sibling survived the blaze.

Gober admitted leaving the three children alone overnight in their fourth-floor Gary apartment in March 2018 while she drank alcohol and spent the night with a maintenance man. During her absence, the youngsters accidentally started the fire while using a stove to make breakfast for themselves.

Gober was sentenced in August 2020 to 51 years in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of neglect of a dependent resulting in death, and one count of neglect of a dependent. But the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in February that Gober’s sentence should not have exceeded 42 years.

Gober and her attorney sought a 16-year sentence, while prosecutors asked the judge to sentence her to 42 years.

Judge Diane Boswell said Gober deserved a longer sentence, in part because she left the burning building without telling firefighters that her children were still inside.

Gober said “she was in a state of shock” and “could not bear to watch the fire so she started walking away,” according to court documents.

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